Background: The caregiver burden on foreign paid caregivers (FPCs) is currently not well understood. This study identified predictors and differences in caregiver burden between FPCs and family caregivers who provided care for patients with dementia.
Methods: We recruited 489 patients with dementia (diagnosed according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition) and used the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) and Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) Scale to assess their neuropsychiatric behavioral problems and severity of dementia. All caregivers [FPCs (n = 42) and family caregivers with (n = 42) and without (n = 447) FPCs] completed three questionnaires: the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI), the Center for Epidemiological Studies–Depression Scale (CES-D), and caregivers’ knowledge of dementia (KD). To understand caregiver burden, we analyzed the correlations between ZBI and other variables and investigated the differences between family caregivers and FPCs.
Results: NPI and CDR scores were higher among patients assisted by FPCs than among those whose families did not employ FPCs. Burdens were greater among family caregivers assisted by FPCs than among FPCs and family caregivers who were not assisted by FPCs. Family caregivers had greater knowledge of dementia than did FPCs. For family caregivers, CES-D scores (Spearman's r = 0.650; p < 0.01) and patients’ NPI scores (Spearman's r = 0.471; p < 0.01) were correlated with caregiver burden. For FPCs, only CES-D scores (Spearman's r = 0.511; p < 0.01) were correlated with caregiver burden. A linear regression model showed that CES-D scores contributed most to caregiver burden in all groups [β = 0.560 (family caregivers without FPCs), 0.546 (family caregivers with FPCs), and 0.583 (FPCs); p < 0.005].
Conclusion: Both family caregivers and FPCs need emotional support. Adequate treatment to reduce the neuropsychiatric symptoms of patients with dementia might reduce the burden on family caregivers.